Swedish suicide by political correctness 5

The liberal left likes to hold Sweden up as a model socialist state, proving that socialism can work.

They could not be more wrong.

Sweden is a country wrecked by political correctness and Muslim immigration, and made so wretched by its own folly that it’s committing national suicide.

This is from Front Page, by Bruce Bawer:

Sweden is self-destructing, and more and more people are writing about it – but, with very few exceptions, still not in the mainstream Swedish media, where denial continues to reign supreme. Indeed, even as concerned observers abroad (especially in neighboring Denmark and Norway, where the elites still look to their larger neighbor as a multicultural role model while many, if not most, ordinary householders view it as a cautionary example) are sounding the alarm about the fallout of Swedish immigration policies, Sweden’s own mainstream media – and the rest of its cultural establishment – are laboring overtime to silence the truth-tellers and keep the rabble from openly questioning the wisdom of their betters. …

One rare recent exception to the Swedish media’s see-no-evil approach to immigration and its consequences was a fascinating map, published last month in the newspaper Sydsvenskan, showing the relative levels of danger in the various neighborhoods of Malmö, the city that is regarded by many cogent observers as the ninth circle of the Scandinavian inferno.

Meanwhile, as I say, the admonitory essays keep coming. One example: “Sweden’s Race to the Bottom,” a bracingly frank piece that appeared on December 4 on the website of Jyllands-Posten, Denmark’s biggest newspaper. The author, Morten Uhrskov Jensen, didn’t mince words. His opening sentence: “Sweden has chosen to break down.” Jensen went on to outline the steady slide in the quality of education in Swedish primary schools over the last decade or so, as detailed in a recent PISA study, and to link that decline to what Jensen bluntly called the country’s “insane immigration policy.” Sweden, warned Jensen, “will have to pay a very high price for its experiment with permitting excessive immigration from dysfunctional states.” He placed special blame on the media

Five days later, Jyllands-Posten offered another grim report, this one entitled “A Land of Ghosts and Shadows.” In it, Danish author Mikael Javling recounted the repercussions of a recent advertisement in the newspaper Dagens Nyheter. The ad was for a book – its title might best be translated as The Immigration Cover-Up – that quietly but devastatingly lays bare the suicidal folly of Sweden’s immigration regime. It’s a remarkably comprehensive work, providing an informative overview of such topics as asylum smuggling, immigration and crime, sharia law, the costs of immigration, censorship of Islam critics, the wielding of the word “racism” as a weapon, the treachery of such pro-immigration authors as Stefan Jonsson and Mattias Gardell, and feminist fecklesness in the face of Muslim patriarchy. Privately printed by the authors, Karl-Olav Arnstberg (an ethnologist) and Gunnar Sandelin (a former reporter for Swedish television), after they failed to secure a publisher, the book, Javling wrote, can justifiably be described as a piece of “underground literature” which, like Solzhenitsyn in the USSR, is being read “only behind closed curtains.”

The Dagens Nyheter ad for The Immigration Cover-Up was a rare exception to the Swedish media’s systematic exclusion of alternate views. According to Javling, the newspaper’s editors put Arnstberg and Sandelin through several rewrites, forcing them to tone down their language and make the ad as innocuous as possible, before they finally agreed to print the thing. Nonetheless, anodyne though it was, it thoroughly enraged the crème de la crème of the Swedish left, who gathered in Stockholm to protest what one of them denounced, in a fiery speech, as “racist propaganda” and to demand that the editors of Dagens Nyheter make a public show of contrition. (All this in response to a nearly 400-page scholarly tome that – crammed with statistics and footnotes – is every bit as dry and dispassionate as the left’s reaction was hot-headed and hysterical.) Jalving didn’t hide his disgust: calling the PC profs, pols, and pressmen at the demo “spoiled little children in suits,” he contrasted them with the majority of Swedes, whom he characterized as “seasoned and lucid Vikings” who’ve “had enough of the elites’ lies and careerism.” I hope he’s right, but I wonder how long these Vikings plan to wait before actually doing anything to try to pull their country back from the precipice.

The day after Jalving’s piece appeared, Expressen, the Swedish daily, ran a story announcing that its editors had hooked up with a Swedish research group, imaginatively named Researchgruppen, to perform a serious, in-depth investigation. Of what? Muslim terrorist cells? Of course not. In good Swedish-media fashion, the goal of Expressen‘s probe was to unearth and expose the names of the readers of three alternative online news sources, Avpixlat, Fria Tider, and Exponerat. I call these sites “alternative” because they run the sorts of stories – about things like, oh, Muslim terrorist cells – that mainstream Swedish media won’t touch. But Expressen doesn’t call them “alternative.” It calls them “hate sites.” (I’ve seen hate sites, and though I haven’t done a thorough study of these three sites, the material I’ve read on them from time to time is no more hateful than the typical article at Front Page or PJ Media.) Anyway, Researchgruppen managed to figure out the e-mail addresses of no fewer than 6200 people who had left “hateful comments” at the three “hate sites” – and then managed to figure out whom those addresses belonged to and proceeded to gather “personal data” on them, which, Expressen promised, would be served up in future articles.

Among the individuals exposed by Expressen as a participant in the discussions on these three sites was Anders Dahlberg, a member of both the National Guard and the Sweden Democrat Party. He lives in the southern town of Skåne and is currently running for a local political office. Researchgruppen identified him as the author of a number of anonymous comments at the Avpixlat site. The one Expressen singled out for opprobrium was his suggestion that it might be impossible to end Sweden’s multicultural society without the use of force, and that ethnic Swedes might want to arm themselves in preparation for that eventuality. Members of the Swedish elite rushed to express their revulsion at this contemptible sentiment – none of them, of course, pausing to ask whether Dahlberg’s statement is, in fact, more or less contemptible than the roles they themselves have played in the ongoing erasure of the nation that he’s plainly determined to save.

Then, this past Tuesday evening, somebody threw a bomb into the mail slot of Dahlberg’s home. The explosion caused the front door to fly off its hinges and across the living room. Although Dahlberg, his wife, and their children were all home at the time, nobody was hurt. The news of the attack was followed hard upon by a report that Dahlberg had been stripped of his position in the military. “What he has written is not consistent with the values of the Ministry of Defense,” said an armed forces spokesman.

So it goes. On Thursday evening, in reaction to a clash in Stockholm between neo-Nazis and “anti-racists,” thousands of citizens of Uppsala, Gothenberg, and Malmö took to the streets in yet another iteration of that favorite Scandinavian pastime, the torchlight procession against racism. …

Stockholm anti-racists plan a Sunday demo. Perusing images of the Thursday evening processions, which showed the pious multicultural multitudes flaunting yet again their proud refusal to test their common ideology against reality, I couldn’t help pondering the melancholy question: are they really unaware that they’re marching their country into oblivion, or are they consciously embracing extinction in the belief that even self-slaughter is preferable to being called a racist?

Democratic elites torn between their principles and their pocketbooks 3

Wealthy New York Democrats who adored the idea of Obamacare, are shocked to find their own health care arrangements are adversely affected by it.

This is from PowerLine, by Steven Hayward:

Many in New York’s professional and cultural elite have long supported President Obama’s health care plan. But now, to their surprise, thousands of writers, opera singers, music teachers, photographers, doctors, lawyers and others are learning that their health insurance plans are being canceled and they may have to pay more to get comparable coverage, if they can find it.

They are part of an unusual, informal health insurance system that has developed in New York, in which independent practitioners were able to get lower insurance rates through group plans, typically set up by their professional associations or chambers of commerce. That allowed them to avoid the sky-high rates in New York’s individual insurance market, historically among the most expensive in the country.

But under the Affordable Care Act, they will be treated as individuals, responsible for their own insurance policies. For many of them, that is likely to mean they will no longer have access to a wide network of doctors and a range of plans tailored to their needs. And many of them are finding that if they want to keep their premiums from rising, they will have to accept higher deductible and co-pay costs or inferior coverage.

In pondering the case of the overwhelmingly pro-Obama New York “artistic and professional community”, I’m reminded of H.L. Mencken’s remark that “Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want—and deserve to get it good and hard.”

Oh, and let’s not overlook Obama-loving California either:

An estimated seven out of every 10 physicians in deep-blue California are rebelling against the state’s Obamacare health insurance exchange and won’t participate, the head of the state’s largest medical association said.

It’s epic fail all the way down.

And this is from PJMedia, by Michael Walsh:

Has there been a more heart-rending story recently than this piece from theNew York Times? …

It carries the news of how flabbergasted “New York’s professional and cultural elite” are at finding that Obamacare will cost them dear, and includes “quotes from rock-ribbed liberals who are suddenly rethinking their allegiance to Leftism now that it has real-world consequences”.

“I couldn’t sleep because of it,” said Barbara Meinwald, a solo practitioner lawyer in Manhattan. …

It is not lost on many of the professionals that they are exactly the sort of people — liberal, concerned with social justice — who supported the Obama health plan in the first place. Ms. Meinwald, the lawyer, said she was a lifelong Democrat who still supported better health care for all, but had she known what was in store for her, she would have voted for Mitt Romney.

It is an uncomfortable position for many members of the creative classes to be in.

“We are the Obama people,” said Camille Sweeney, a New York writer and member of the Authors Guild. Her insurance is being canceled, and she is dismayed that neither her pediatrician nor her general practitioner appears to be on the exchange plans. What to do has become a hot topic on Facebook and at dinner parties frequented by her fellow writers and artists.

“I’m for it,” she said. “But what is the reality of it?”

She means she was for it, but now resents “the reality of it”.

The reality of it is that … one can only postpone the Consequences of No Consequences for so long before ugly reality finally arrives. This puts the Left in the terrible position of being forced to choose between its principles and its pocketbook, a life situation for which they are almost wholly unprepared.

It had to come eventually. Reality, whether acknowledged or not, accrues its consequences. Which must affect everyone. Even New York lefty intellectuals.

Let us not pity them too much. Rather, we confidently assure our readers that an outburst of Schadenfreude on hearing this news would not be in bad taste.

Big Brotherhood 8

Further to our recent post Jon Stewart on NSA (December 15, 2013), in which we asked our readers if they thought NSA spying was justified if it kept us safe from terrorist attacks, here is a relevant article from Reason, by Jacob Sullum:

When US District Judge Richard Leon issued his preliminary injunction against the NSA’s phone record database yesterday, part of his  analysis … concerned whether the collection of telephone metadata counts as a “search” under the Fourth Amendment. But Leon also considered whether such a search might be “reasonable,” even without an individualized warrant, because of its usefulness in preventing terrorist attacks.

That part of the analysis was pretty straightforward, since the government had presented no evidence that the database has been useful in preventing terrorist attacks:

The Government does not cite a single instance in which analysis of the NSA’s bulk metadata collection actually stopped an imminent attack, or otherwise aided the Government in achieving any objective that was time-sensitive in nature. In fact, none of the three “recent episodes” cited by the Government that supposedly “illustrate the role that telephony metadata analysis can play in preventing and protecting against terrorist attack” involved any apparent urgency….

Given the limited record before me at this point in the litigation — most notably, the utter lack of evidence that a terrorist attack has ever been prevented because searching the NSA database was faster than other investigative tactics— I have serious doubts about the efficacy of the metadata collection program as a means of conducting time-sensitive investigations in cases involving imminent threats of terrorism.

Leon’s conclusion on this question is striking, since you’d think the Obama administration would be highly motivated to show that the database has been crucial in saving lives. If the government cannot muster a single plausible example, how can such a massive invasion of privacy possibly be justified?

The administration has been struggling with this problem since news reports based on leaks from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden first revealed the existence of the phone record database last June. At first intelligence officials and their allies in Congress suggested that the program had been instrumental in foiling more than 50 terrorist plots. But those claims — which were immediately questioned by Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Mark Udall (D-Colo.), who as members of the Senate Intelligence Committee ought to know — dissolved upon close examination. Last October a ProPublica analysis concluded “there’s no evidence that the oft-cited figure is accurate”.

The crucial question, usually dodged by the NSA and its defenders, is whether routinely collecting everyone’s phone records, as opposed to seeking specific, evidence-based court orders aimed at particular targets, has been decisive in stopping terrorist attacks. If the government has been unable to offer any examples in the last six months, it seems unlikely it ever will.

Well, it might. But more and more NSA resembles George Orwell’s “Big Brother” in 1984, with his observation of everyone all the time, in order to control their lives, their actions, and ultimately even their thoughts and emotions. He is the perfect symbol of the socialist state. If a conservative Republican Congress and president ever come to power again, they should abolish the agency’s listening and recording center. There are better ways to trace and track terrorists – among them, keeping watch on all mosques, and severely limiting Muslim immigration.

Posted under Commentary, government, Terrorism, tyranny, United States by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, December 18, 2013

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The Muslim menace denounced in Switzerland 3

Except for a quotation from Martin Luther (“Here I stand. I can do no other.”) and another from Leviticus (“Love thy neighbor”), we like this speech by Swiss MP Oskar Freysinger against the encroachment and subversion of Islam in Europe.

A rousing speech. Almost a cry “To arms!”

But not quite. Our guess is that nothing effective will result from it.

We can only be glad that in at least one country in suicidal Europe it is still possible to speak the truth about Islam, and denounce its hideous creed, without the speaker being prosecuted and threatened with fines and imprisonment.

 

(Video from Tundra Tabloids)

Posted under Commentary, Europe, Islam, jihad, Muslims, Videos by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, December 18, 2013

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Saudi Arabia behind 9/11 1

Proof that Saudi Arabia sponsored 9/11 is still being covered-up.

Paul Sperry (of the Hoover Institution) reports and comments in the New York Post:

After the 9/11 attacks, the public was told al Qaeda acted alone, with no state sponsors.

But the White House never let it see an entire section of Congress’s investigative report on 9/11 dealing with “specific sources of foreign support” for the 19 hijackers, 15 of whom were Saudi nationals.

It was kept secret and remains so today.

President Bush inexplicably censored 28 full pages of the 800-page report. Text isn’t just blacked-out here and there in this critical-yet-missing middle section. The pages are completely blank, except for dotted lines where an estimated 7,200 words once stood. …

A pair of lawmakers who recently read the redacted portion say they are “absolutely shocked” at the level of foreign state involvement in the attacks.

Reps. Walter Jones (R-NC) and Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.) can’t reveal the nation identified by it without violating federal law. So they’ve proposed Congress pass a resolution asking President Obama to declassify the entire 2002 report, “Joint Inquiry Into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001″.

Some information already has leaked from the classified section, which is based on both CIA and FBI documents, and it points back to Saudi Arabia, a presumed ally.

The Saudis deny any role in 9/11, butthe CIA in one memo reportedly found “incontrovertible evidence” that Saudi government officials — not just wealthy Saudi hardliners, but high-level diplomats and intelligence officers employed by the kingdom — helped the hijackers both financially and logistically. The intelligence files cited in the report directly implicate the Saudi embassy in Washington and consulate in Los Angeles in the attacks, making 9/11 not just an act of terrorism, but an act of war.

The findings, if confirmed, would back up open-source reporting showing the hijackers had, at a minimum, ties to several Saudi officials and agents while they were preparing for their attacks inside the United States. In fact, they got help from Saudi VIPs from coast to coast:

LOS ANGELES: Saudi consulate official Fahad al-Thumairy allegedly arranged for an advance team to receive two of the Saudi hijackers — Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi — as they arrived at LAX in 2000. One of the advance men, Omar al-Bayoumi, a suspected Saudi intelligence agent, left the LA consulate and met the hijackers at a local restaurant. (Bayoumi left the United States two months before the attacks, while Thumairy was deported back to Saudi Arabia after 9/11.)

SAN DIEGO: Bayoumi and another suspected Saudi agent, Osama Bassnan, set up essentially a forward operating base in San Diego for the hijackers after leaving LA. They were provided rooms, rent and phones, as well as private meetings with an American al Qaeda cleric who would later become notorious, Anwar al-Awlaki, at a Saudi-funded mosque he ran in a nearby suburb. They were also feted at a welcoming party. (Bassnan also fled the United States just before the attacks.)

WASHINGTON: Then-Saudi Ambassador Prince Bandar and his wife sent checks totaling some $130,000 to Bassnan while he was handling the hijackers. Though the Bandars claim the checks were “welfare” for Bassnan’s supposedly ill wife, the money nonetheless made its way into the hijackers’ hands.

Other al Qaeda funding was traced back to Bandar and his embassy — so much so that by 2004 Riggs Bank of Washington had dropped the Saudis as a client.

The next year, as a number of embassy employees popped up in terror probes, Riyadh recalled Bandar.

“Our investigations contributed to the ambassador’s departure,” an investigator who worked with the Joint Terrorism Task Force in Washington told me, though Bandar says he left for “personal reasons”.

FALLS CHURCH, VA.: In 2001, Awlaki and the San Diego hijackers turned up together again — this time at the Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center, a Pentagon-area mosque built with funds from the Saudi Embassy. Awlaki was recruited 3,000 miles away to head the mosque. As its imam, Awlaki helped the hijackers, who showed up at his doorstep as if on cue. He tasked a handler to help them acquire apartments and IDs before they attacked the Pentagon.

Awlaki worked closely with the Saudi Embassy. He lectured at a Saudi Islamic think tank in Merrifield, Va., chaired by Bandar. Saudi travel itinerary documents I’ve obtained show he also served as the ­official imam on Saudi Embassy-sponsored trips to Mecca and tours of Saudi holy sites.

Most suspiciously, though, Awlaki fled the United States on a Saudi jet about a year after 9/11. …

The Saudi-sponsored cleric was briefly detained at JFK before being released into the custody of a “Saudi representative”. A federal warrant for Awlaki’s arrest had mysteriously been withdrawn the previous day. …

HERNDON, VA.: On the eve of the attacks, top Saudi government official Saleh Hussayen checked into the same Marriott Residence Inn near Dulles Airport as three of the Saudi hijackers who targeted the Pentagon. Hussayen had left a nearby hotel to move into the hijackers’ hotel. Did he meet with them? The FBI never found out. They let him go after he “feigned a seizure”, one agent recalled. (Hussayen’s name doesn’t appear in the separate 9/11 Commission Report, which clears the Saudis.)

SARASOTA, FLA.: 9/11 ringleader Mohamed Atta and other hijackers visited a home owned by Esam Ghazzawi, a Saudi adviser to the nephew of King Fahd. FBI agents investigating the connection in 2002 found that visitor logs for the gated community and photos of license tags matched vehicles driven by the hijackers. Just two weeks before the 9/11 attacks, the Saudi luxury home was abandoned. Three cars, including a new Chrysler PT Cruiser, were left in the driveway. Inside, opulent furniture was untouched.

Democrat Bob Graham, the former Florida senator who chaired the Joint Inquiry, has asked the FBI for the Sarasota case files, but can’t get a single, even heavily redacted, page released. He says it’s a “coverup”. 

Is the federal government protecting the Saudis? Case agents tell me they were repeatedly called off pursuing 9/11 leads back to the Saudi Embassy, which had curious sway over White House and FBI responses to the attacks.

Just days after Bush met with the Saudi ambassador in the White House, the FBI evacuated from the United States dozens of Saudi officials, as well as Osama bin Laden family members. Bandar made the request for escorts directly to FBI headquarters on Sept. 13, 2001 — just hours after he met with the president. The two old family friends shared cigars on the Truman Balcony while discussing the attacks. …

Astonishing as [it]  sounds, few lawmakers in fact have bothered to read the classified section of arguably the most important investigation in US history. …

But it’s critical they take the time to read it and pressure the White House to let all Americans read it. …

As the frustrated Joint Inquiry authors warned, in an overlooked addendum to their heavily redacted 2002 report, “State-sponsored terrorism substantially increases the likelihood of successful and more ­lethal attacks within the United States”.

Their findings must be released, even if they forever change US-Saudi relations. …

Members of Congress reluctant to read the full report ought to remember that the 9/11 assault missed its fourth target: them.

 

(Hat-tip Roger in Florida)

Casual terrorism – Islamic of course 0

From CNN:

An horrific video – the worst apparently edited out of it – of a terrorist attack in Yemen.

Terrorists explode bombs in a hospital and shoot staff and patients.

Such an attack is far from rare in many parts of the Islamic Middle East.

Posted under Islam, Muslims, Videos, Yemen by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, December 17, 2013

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The humbling of America 4

Reuters reports:

China landed an unmanned spacecraft on the moon on Saturday [December 13, 2013], state media reported, in the first such “soft-landing” since 1976, joining the United States and the former Soviet Union in managing to accomplish such a feat.

The Chang’e 3, a probe named after a lunar goddess in traditional Chinese mythology, is carrying the solar-powered Yutu, or Jade Rabbit buggy, which will dig and conduct geological surveys.

China has been increasingly ambitious in developing its space programs, for military, commercial and scientific purposes. …

“The dream for lunar exploration once again lights up the China Dream,” Xinhua news agency said in a commentary.

China dreams of “becoming a major global economic and political power”.

In its most recent manned space mission in June, three astronauts spent 15 days in orbit and docked with an experimental space laboratory, part of Beijing’s quest to build a working space station by 2020.

The official Xinhua news service reported that the spacecraft had touched down in the Sinus Iridum, or the Bay of Rainbows, after hovering over the surface for several minutes seeking an appropriate place to land. …

The Bay of Rainbows was selected because it has yet to be studied, has ample sunlight and is convenient for remote communications with Earth, Xinhua said. …

For more than a decade, China has been modernizing its economy and developing in areas long dominated by the West particularly the United States.

China is also developing its own satellite system to rival the U.S. GPS [Global Positioning] system and has sold satellites to other countries.

And further reports:

Iran said on Saturday [December 14, 2013] it had sent a second live monkey into space and brought it back safely, the latest demonstration of the country’s missile capabilities, state news agency IRNA reported.

“President Hassan Rouhani … congratulated Iranian scientists and experts on successfully sending a second living creature into space,” the news agency said.

Iran said it launched its first monkey to space in January.

Rouhani used Twitter to mark the latest event, a demonstration of rocket power that is likely to cause concern in the West and among some Gulf states, which are worried about Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

The West worries that long-range ballistic technology used to propel Iranian satellites into orbit could be put to use dispatching nuclear warheads to a target.

In contrast to these developments, America is using the National Aeronautic Space Administration (NASA) to make Muslims feel good about their – non-existent – scientific achievements, on instructions from President Obama, as its “foremost” mission, we recall.

ABC news reported on July 6, 2010:

The White House and NASA today defended comments by National Aeronautic Space Administration administrator Charles Bolden about reaching out to the Muslim world – comments that conservatives criticized as undermining NASA’s mission.

A few days ago, in Cairo, Bolden told Al Jazeera that when he became the NASA administrator, President Obama charged him with three things: “One, he wanted me to help re-inspire children to want to get into science and math; he wanted me to expand our international relationships; and third, and perhaps foremost, he wanted me to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science and engineering — science, math and engineering.” …

The Washington Examiner’s Byron York interviewed former NASA administrator Michael Griffin … who called Bolden’s stated charge for NASA a “perversion of NASA’s purpose.”

“NASA was chartered by the 1958 Space Act to develop the arts and sciences of flight in the atmosphere and in space and to go where those technologies will allow us to go,” Griffin said “That’s what NASA does for the country. It is a perversion of NASA’s purpose to conduct activities in order to make the Muslim world feel good about its contributions to science and mathematics.” Griffin made clear he was criticizing the policy, not Bolden, whom he praised. …

Commentator Charles Krauthammer called Bolden’s comments “a new height of fatuousness. NASA was established to get America into space and to keep us there. This idea of ‘to feel good about your past scientific achievements’ is the worst kind of group therapy, psycho-babble, imperial condescension and adolescent diplomacy.”

The humbling of America is a large part of Obama’s agenda, and he is spectacularly succeeding in it.

He dreams his adolescent dreams in a private Bay of Rainbows all his own.

Past time to resettle the Palestinians 1

UNRWA should go.

(Indeed, the UN and all its agencies should go.)

This is from  the Council on Foreign Relations, by Elliott Abrams. (We have cut out the bits where he praises the UN and its agencies, because we consider the UN to be a center of global evil.)

Since the end of the Second World War, millions of refugees have left refugee camps, and refugee status, and moved to countries that accepted them – quickly or slowly – as citizens.

Post-World War II Europe was an archipelago of displaced persons and refugee camps, housing 850,000 people in 1947 – Czechs, Poles, Lithuanians, Germans, Latvians, Greeks, and many more nationalities. By 1952, all but one of the camps had closed. …

Hundreds of thousands of Jewish refugees from Europe went to Israel after 1948, and then hundreds of thousands more arrived from Arab lands when they were forced to flee after 1956 and 1967. The children and grandchildren of these refugees, born after their arrival, were never refugees themselves; they were from birth citizens of the new land, as their parents had become immediately upon their own arrival. …

The exception to this refugee story is the Palestinians. In most of the Arab lands to which they fled or travelled after 1948 they were often treated badly, and refused citizenship (with Jordan the major exception) or even the right to work legally. And instead of coming under the protection of UNHCR [the UN High Commissioner for Refugees] , they had a special agency of their own, UNRWA, the UN Relief and Works Agency. In the decades of its existence, it has not solved or even diminished the Palesinian refugee problem; instead it has presided over a massive increase in its size, for all the descendants of Palestinian refugees are considered to be refugees as well. Once there were 750,000; now there are five million people considered by UNRWA to be “Palestinian refugees.” And UNRWA is now the largest UN agency, with a staff of 30,000. UNHCR cares for the rest of the world with about 7,500 personnel.

The political background to this story is simple: only in the case of Israel was there a determined refusal to accept what had happened during and after World War II, with the establishment of the Jewish state and the increase in its population by the acceptance of refugee Jews. Of all the world’s refugees, whom UNHCR tries normally to resettle, only the Palestinians are an exception. UNRWA presides over generation after generation of additional refugees, and Arab states and leaders make believe that some day they can turn back the clock and send them – and their children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren – to Israel. …

UNRWA should cease to exist, and Palestinian refugees should be handled by UNHCR with the intention of resettling them. …

Lest that position seem idiosyncratic, consider this: in 2010 Canada cut off its funding of UNRWA, and just now the Netherlands government has said it is considering the same action. How did they explain this? The foreign minister told parliament that Holland would “thoroughly review” its policy and the ruling party called UNRWA’s refugee definition “worrying”. UNRWA, said the party spokesman, “uses its own unique definition of refugees, different to the UN’s. The refugee issue is a big obstacle for peace. We therefore ask the government acknowledge this discrepancy, which leads to the third-generation Palestinian refugees.” Correction: fourth-generation, actually.

It is worth noting that there are many other criticisms of UNRWA: that it overlooks terrorist group activity in some camps, or allows members of Hamas and other terrorist groups to hold UNRWA staff positions. But those are criticisms of how UNRWA is carrying out its mission, while the deeper problem is the mission itself. That mission might accurately be described as enlarging the Palestinian refugee problem forever and thereby making any Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement tremendously more difficult if not impossible to achieve.

Closing UNRWA would in the end be a great favor to Palestinians who live outside the West Bank and Gaza … Some of those individuals will [we would say “may” – ed] some day move to the West Bank or Gaza, but they do not need UNRWA to do that. None of them will ever move to Israel, and the existence of UNRWA helps to maintain the cruel myth that they will.

The “peace process” seems stalled today; no negotiated final settlements is on the horizon. … Starting the process of closing down UNRWA would be a move toward peace, as it would replace the permanent perpetuation of the Palestinian refugee problem with a process designed to reduce it in size and some day solve it.

Jon Stewart on NSA 6

We found this funny. We also like the fact that at last some media persons on the left are mocking Obama.

Readers: What is your opinion of NSA spying?

Do you think it is justified if it keeps us safe from terrorist attacks?

Posted under Humor, satire, Videos by Jillian Becker on Sunday, December 15, 2013

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Sowell speaks sagely (as always) 0

Picture from PowerLine, among others worth looking at.

Posted under Humor, Socialism by Jillian Becker on Sunday, December 15, 2013

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